Thursday, 25 March 2010

Sorry, Ken Livingstone

I worked on the great newtered Mayor's campaign some years ago - an enjoyable and successful experience. I met him at one of the agency party's that he spoke at in order to raise our collective morale. In those days we didn't need any morale raising - we were awash with money. Throughout his visit Ken kept his contempt for the abject trivialism of advertising hidden behind his hooded eyelids, though when I had a few moments of one-to-one time I fancied he might throw up into his vol-au-vents, so callow were my youthful views. The terrible truth is that I am a huge admirer of his brave, imaginative, open yet relaxed approach to politics, conviction without the hair shirt. His success seems weirdly to be connected to his famous cache of pet lizards in that whether its an incautious epithet or controversial invitation to the IRA he displayed an extraordinary sang-froid. However. He isn't successful anymore. So when I bumped into him, well, saw him at my local Cafe Nero I felt obliged to once again interpose myself between him and his day to remind him of my, let's face it, election winning headlines. (OK. probably electorally irrelevant headlines.) He shook my hand and made a good fist of remembering me. It was a mistake to tell him that I was now forced to work for the other side, but the irony was too hard to resist blurting. So I did, and he shook my hand again with a finality that indicated my audience was over. I suppose ad people will never understand that some people actually have convictions, rather than adopt those of others for money

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